ABC Of Weddings: Q Is For Quartets

by | ABC Of Weddings, Bride, Ceremony



Quartets are often queried by couples as a quintessential part of a quietly elegant ceremony.


I took a round about way for this entry and ended up with quartets and your ceremony music. A quartet is a popular choice for your wedding ceremony but there are many others which can add to the ambiance of your wedding day.

  • A string trio
  • A woodwind instrument
  • A soloist
  • Traditional organ
  • A harpist
  • Piano
  • Soloist
  • A band
  • Personal music player (i.e. Ipod)

You’re not limited to one option either – you may choose a quartet for your ceremony, a pianist for your cocktail hour and a band for your reception.

You can find wedding musicians on most wedding directories or in magazines. However you may have some talented friends, a talented local musician, or may even consider asking a university or college if their musicians are available to play at weddings.

Here’s a rundown of the ‘types’ of music chosen for your wedding ceremony.


Typically you should choose 4-5 songs for when guests are entering the ceremony location. These provide background music and can set the tone for your event. A light hearted celebratory tune will get guests into the mood. These songs are also known as the prelude and usually start about 20 minutes before the stated ceremony start time.

  • Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring – Bach
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
  • Air On The G String – Bach
  • Heaven (Candlelight mix)- DJ Sammy


Next up is choosing a song for your walk down the aisle, otherwise known as the processional. Some weddings may have a different song for the bridesmaids to the bride, signaling the importance of the bride’s entry and giving her a dramatic moment.

  • Only Time – Enya
  • Wedding March – Wagner
  • Canon In D – Pachelbel
  • Kissing You – Des’ree
  • Wedding Processional From The Sound Of Music – Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke/Purcell


Mercedes had her father play his guitar and sing before her wedding ceremony. Photo by Christine Tremoulet


During the ceremony, you might choose to have special songs play. Perhaps during the signing of the registry or during a ceremony such as the sand ceremony. You may even choose to have a close family member of friend sing a song that’s special to you. Known as the interlude, this part of the ceremony can be a great place to put more of your special songs that are personal to you.

Possible choices

  • Ava Maria
  • The Rose – Bette Midler
  • Songbird – Eva Cassidy
  • Sheep May Safely Graze – Bach
  • Clare De Lune – Claude Debussy
  • Your Song – Elton John


Walking back down the aisle is one of the happiest parts of a wedding day- the music should be upbeat, vibrant and celebratory! This is known as the recessional

Possible Choices

  • Trumpet Voluntary – Clarke
  • All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  • In My Life – The Beatles
  • How Sweet It Is – Michael Buble
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
  • A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong


Shannon & Rich had a Mariachi band play once their ceremony concluded at their wedding in Mexico. Photo by Millie Holloman Photography


As the guests leave the church or ceremony venue and gather outside, more music plays. This is known as the prolude. The songs picked for this should be joyous and with a happy beat.

Possible Choices

  • Love & Marriage – Frank Sinatra
  • So Happy Together – The Turtles
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  • My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone

Extra Tips

  • Keep in mind the tempo and length of the song as well as the length of your aisle.
  • Have a backup plan if you’re using a CD or portable music player in case these fail.
  • Listen to the lyrics of your chosen songs. Some just don’t work for a wedding! Consider using an instrumental version instead.
  • Depending on the skill of your musicians, they will be able to play anything for you- from classical to modern music

  • Cathy and David says:
    August 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I love REAL music at weddings, it adds so much character… of course as a small child I used to try to get the musicians to laugh while they were playing…. o.o

  • Wendy says:
    August 4, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Great post! I have one ot add- Hawaiian ceremony music. I have a couple who are having a polynesian group playing for their tropical theme wedding.

  • Christine says:
    August 7, 2008 at 5:12 am

    I think that live music at a wedding is *so* incredibly beautiful! Mercedes father playing for her wedding made it just so special – I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. I’m such a wedding sap!

  • Moz says:
    April 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I have sung at more than 600 weddings in the last ten years and I would add some advice to what is listed here.

    Most often, if it is a church wedding, the musician/s you have asked will have experience in what you have as options and where music should be used. If your celebrant is difficult or cold, a good wedding singer/quartet will know their way around liturgy in most denominations.

    Also, chances are that if they are musicians still studying (and most weddings musos I know use weddings as a way of paying for their education!) then they will pieces of music they are studying that are about love or family. TALK to them! You’re paying for their experience and the truth is that we usually rotate between about the same ten-twelve pieces of music. More often than not, they will jump at the chance to do something different, so ask them for ideas or appropriate but not often used pieces of music.

    Weddings guests get equally bored of Pachelbel in D and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. So feel free to be different! Even orthodox church weddings can incorporate unusual choices. Think a beautiful aria from one of Mozart’s operas or ask your violinist to play whatever it is they’ve been working on. They will relish the challenge, believe me.



We ask that the comments you leave on our site are respectful of each other and the personal stories that are told. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not fall within our site policies.


Trackback from your own site.